Serious woman with stop gesture, isolatedWhen it comes to your on-line presence, you should consider not only attracting traffic, but also the experience a potential customer has when they find your site. Unfortunately, many businesses focus too much on the getting website traffic and not enough on the experience. Businesses that concentrate marketing time, effort, and budget on maximizing their search engine results may be diminishing their return on investment by losing the traffic they have attracted. SEO is a relevant marketing tactic, but for smaller businesses it can be a disappointing activity and one that will not provide the expected results.

It is not hard to understand why: SEO “experts” are everywhere. With promises to get you to the top of the search list; regardless of keyword; regardless of search engine, can be a tempting distraction. Who would not want to be at the top of the results list for the keyword or phrase that connects you to your audience? But these promises can turn hollow as traffic never reaches the desired level and what traffic does arrive is not converted to potential opportunities.

Businesses that focus their websites exclusively on SEO value typically get two things wrong: Experience and Content.

First, exclusively SEO-centric websites may destroy the visitor experience. You can have a lot of visitors but if they leave your site as quickly as they arrive, you really aren’t making progress. The visual and navigation design must be worthy of engaging visitors, encouraging them to explore your site deeper, and become more interested your business and your product or service.

Second, exclusively SEO-centric websites may diminish the value of your content. Content written strictly for SEO has its value diluted if it is written strictly based on keyword references and saturation. It will also diminish the value your potential customer receives when visiting your web site.

The purpose of your website should be more than just numbers like search rank and total number of visitors.

Your website should:
• Engage your audience with relevant and interesting content.
• Educate your visitor about your ability to solve their problem, fulfill their need, or address their issue.
• Proactively answer their questions.
• Be designed to guide them through the buying decision.

Your website is one of the most important tools for allowing your prospects to get to know, like, and trust your business.

When designing your website you should think about SEO and web traffic, but don’t let it take your focus away from the experience. The experience you give them should focus on providing the right information at the right time leading them down the path to make the decision to buy from you.

For more information about how to engage your prospects download this free eBook: Small Business Marketing Success.

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